Degree Date



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies


From the advent of writing in the ancient Mediterranean world, people have found ways to forge a connection between their selves and the text. Whether by means and for purposes of representation, translation, or presentation of the self, writing as a technology has long functioned as a method of enacting selfhood. This dissertation constructs an intellectual history of writing as a technology of the self in the ancient Greek and Latin imaginary, considering the works of Plato, Augustine, Ausonius, and Dhuoda. This history and these textual case studies then serve as a point-of-departure for a discussion of the ramifications of this supremely personal literary project for the ethical encounter, arguing for the framing of reading as an inherently political and ethical activity. Throughout history, people have been utilizing writing as a technology of the self—what does that mean for the reader?

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